So you don't want to be an illegal bandit running from the law, hmm?
Alright, I got you.
I can get you into Indonesia for 6 months...
...no bribes to police necessary.
This post is in honor of and written especially for @daveonarrival 'cause I forgot to read his mind and write a post about this back when he was apparently wondering how to stay in Indonesia for more than 2 months.
I guess I’ll let you guys in on the good stuff, too.
Apparently, a lot of people don’t know about the social visa option which lets you stay in Indonesia for 6 months.
Which, is a big deal, because without it…
…all you can stay is a measly little 2 months.
Which trust me.
It is not enough.
SIX months isn’t even enough.
It’s not even enough to explore Bali, much less the rest of the islands in Indonesia.
So let me tell you how I got a visa to stay in Indonesia for 6 months. Without having to do a pain in the butt visa run every other month.
Ok, so there are two visa options (unless you want to get a business visa to stay for a year, which is a whole different topic).
This advice is pretty much applicable to Europeans, Australians, Canadians and US Citizens. If you’re from somewhere else…you might wanna fact check this.
First Visa Option - 2 Months:
You can land in the airport in Bali without a visa and stay for 30 days. Look at the date stamped in your passport, though. I accidentally overstayed my first time because I can’t count apparently. Lolz.
If you’d like to stay for 2 months, then you need to remember to ask at the airport if customs can give you a Visa On Arrival (VOA) stamp.
You pay about the equivalent of $35-$40 USD per month if you choose to do this option. So, you will end up paying almost $80 for your visa fees if you want to stay for two months.
Getting a VOA is the only friggin’ way that you can extend from one month to two months.
Not even bribing a policeman will get you extra time in Indo.
Not even flashing him your man boobs will get your visa time extended.
Second Visa Option - 6 Months
If you want to stay 6 months, then you have to get a thing called a social visa before you come to Indonesia.
If you’re an introvert. Don’t worry. I don’t think you ACTUALLY have to socialize with people in order to stay here.
You can sit in your room all month if you want and your social visa will have you covered.
** I personally think they should start issuing anti-social visas, but what do I know. **
The social visa lets you stay for 60 days, and then you have to extend it each month to be able to stay longer.
You have to use an agent for this. I mean, you don’t HAVE to… but it saves you a heck of a lot of time and hassle if you do. And they don’t charge that much to work with them, so for me it’s a no brainer to just go ahead and work with an agent.
I use www.baliviza.com
The first extension, you have to go to immigration about an hour away from Canggu/Ubud to extend. Nina at Bali Viza will tell you where to go.
She’ll also arrange hella cheap transport. She chargers fair rates — lower than you would get with a taxi or a private driver or a grab/uber car.
Of course, if you want…
…you can motorbike there yourself.
But only if your confident enough to deal with hella traffic and people zipping around on motorbikes full of chickens and random things.
It kinda stresses me out, so I opted for the cheap transport.
She charged about $12 round trip for a 2 hour round trip session. Worth it to me.
So, the first month I went to immigration and got my fingerprints taken so they could extend the visa.
The immigration office was full of foreigners and there was free water, which was nice. I got in an out of there in just 20 minutes…
...while all the suckers who didn’t use an agent had to wait in a long ass line for dayyyz.
After that first time, you never have to make that long journey to renew your visa again if you’re working with an agent.
Each month, someone that works at Bali Viza comes to my place and picks up my passport. Then, about 3 weeks later, they return with my passport and a magical stamp that has mysteriously appeared, granting me my wish of staying another month.
The people at Bali Viza are like passport genies.
They make all of your passport wishes come true.
It costs about $50 USD per month to extend your social visa.
Remember this: It’s a single entry visa. You can not leave Indonesia with this visa. If you do, the visa expires and becomes useless. Much like your a-hole ex-lover.
👉You can’t get this visa online…
…because I guess it’s still a little behind the times around these parts. Which can be a good and bad thing.
Make sure to get your visa in a country that has an Indonesian consulate.
So, for example, I got my social visa for Indonesia in Ho Chi Minh.
Hopefully, you’ll prepare a little better than me ahead of time. I know you don’t like to plan @daveonarrival, but uhh…you might cost yourself an extra flight and some other expenses if you don’t.
I had to leave Da Nang, Vietnam early and pay double rent down in Saigon because I didn’t plan enough in advance to check if there was an Indonesian Consulate in Da Nang or Hoi An.
So, even though my $200 per month beachfront apartment was already paid for…
…I had to leave a week early to go to Saigon. :(
But! Saigon was cool so it’s all good.
If you'd rather just look at pictures, these tell you what to do:
(sorry that this picture is totally girly @daveonarrival)
If you’re traveling around Asia, you can get a social visa in these cities:
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Davao City, Philippines
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
And more. Get the full list here.
I think that's about it!!!
If you have any questions, lemme know!!